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Whispers in the Gallery

Self-described collector of sounds and artist John Kannenberg records the sounds that echo through museums (usually thought of as spaces where silence is enforced) and creating works that "investigate the psychogeography of museums and archives, the processes of making and observing art, the psychology of collection, and the human experience of time." [more inside]
posted by PussKillian on Aug 6, 2014 - 3 comments

Dusk by the Frog Pond

Marc Anderson, the winner of the Beautiful Now sound competition has a site called Nature Soundmap where you can listen to sounds from around the world. [more inside]
posted by unliteral on Jan 23, 2014 - 10 comments

Alright, get a little closer to the mic, here we go...

First, you might want to listen to the Beach Boys song Sloop John B, just to refresh your memory. Then a look and listen to the video Behind The Sounds: Sloop John B will give you some nice insight into the recording and arranging process and open a window onto the keen production expertise of a young Brian Wilson, directing a roomful of seasoned session pros (none other than the Wrecking Crew). It's how they used to make records, kids!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 7, 2013 - 48 comments

In Utero, in utero

"If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody's fucking up." Take a moment to read the letter that Steve Albini sent to Nirvana prior to the recording of 1993's In Utero. It puts everything in context, encapsulates the spirit of the album, and makes a case for it better than a thousand 20th anniversary encomiums could. [more inside]
posted by naju on Sep 26, 2013 - 67 comments

The Business of Phish

Phish has consistently been one of the most popular and lucrative touring acts in America, generating well over a quarter billion dollars in ticket sales. Yet, by other measures, the band isn’t popular at all... Phish doesn’t make money by selling music. They make money by selling live music, and that, it turns out, is a more durable business model. (via) [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 22, 2013 - 83 comments

Like talking on the phone, but a thousand times more thrilling!

Ever heard of the Voice-O-Graph? Just STEP IN and RECORD YOUR OWN VOICE! RECORDING PLAYED BACK AND DELIVERED TO YOU WITHIN TWO MINUTES ! And now, thanks to benevolent rock god Jack White, you can do it TODAY!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 17, 2013 - 13 comments

Sounds with an "eternal essence"

Sometimes called the "Alan Lomaxes of India," the founders of Amarrass Records are on a mission to record and revitalize interest in traditional music from India, Turkey, and beyond. Over 100 videos on their YouTube channel chronicle their field recordings and festivals featuring artists like Lakha Khan, the Barmer Boys, Bombino, and many others. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Apr 12, 2013 - 10 comments

The Roadmap to Saving the Sounds of America, Though the Road is Bumpy

The National Recording Preservation Board was mandated by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, but it didn't have a preservation plan in place to address saving everything from the oldest tin foil recordings (prev) to recent "born digital" creations. That changed with the National Recording Preservation Plan (full 89 page PDF). Except, "the recording preservation provisions under current law are so restrictive you literally can't make — legally — a digital copy of an older analog recording without permissions which are very hard to get" (NPR). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 15, 2013 - 8 comments

You'll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.

The Okeh Laughing Record, a novelty recording, was first released in 1923 and rose to #8 on the Billboard charts, becoming the highest ranking anonymous* recording ever. It's history and provenance is completely unknown**. It has since appeared as the soundtrack to cartoons, on Dr. Demento and on Jean Shepard's radio show. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Feb 13, 2013 - 24 comments

Goddamn you guys! I was really playing groovy!

Crosby, Stills and Nash recorded a great first album. How they got there.
posted by timsteil on Jan 27, 2013 - 17 comments

Sephardic Music: A Century of Recordings

Sephardic Music: A Century of Recordings is a discographic website charting the recording of Sephardic secular and liturgical songs. It includes great sections on 78 rpm recordings, early repertory, and modern recordings. Samples of songs are littered throughout, but many can be found in the Appendix section on 78 labels (at the bottom of the page) and the Songs section of the Appendix. There are many other parts of the site to explore, but the Bibiliography deserves a special mention, as does this page providing samples of 125! different recordings of the popular song A la una over the past 100 years.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 12, 2012 - 12 comments

Electrical fluctuations as a watermark for audio and video recordings

Audio recordings usually include a low-level background noise caused by electrical equipment. The hum contains small frequency fluctuations which are propagated consistently over entire power grids. By storing the pattern of grid-wide fluctuations in a database forensics experts are able to use the hum as a watermark. This can determine when the recording was made, where it was made and whether it was recorded in a single edit. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo on Dec 12, 2012 - 43 comments

just some blokes mucking around in the studio

Whoever let the tape roll on at a Beatles recording session at Abbey Road studio, 47 years ago, deserves our gratitude for several reasons. For reminding us that these exalted and almost absurdly famous musicians could sound like rank amateurs trying to teach themselves their newest song. For giving non-musicians a window onto the utterly mundane reality of the recording process, i.e. the endless waiting around for the engineer to get the tape cued up into the right spot. For giving us an audio glimpse of Lennon and McCartney's continual nutty banter, which can be quite entertaining. All that and more to be heard in The Beatles in Studio - Rubber Soul (1965) and Rubber Soul (Think For Yourself) 1965 Session.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 10, 2012 - 49 comments

One of these is not like the others.

Four of the five songs nominated for the 2013 Grammy for Best Dance Recording are international hits. The fifth is so obscure it has raised questions about how it got there. I Can't Live Without You by Al Walser is one of the five nominees for Best Dance Recording. Walser's lack of popularity on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube when the nominations were announced, along with his previously claims to be a voting member of the Recording Acedemy, has led to accusations of foul play or vote manipulation. The music press is now asking, "Who the hell is Al Walser?"
posted by thecjm on Dec 6, 2012 - 136 comments

Heavy Metal Music

The oldest known recording of American voice has been restored and replayed for the first time in over 100 years. Dating to June 22, 1878, the recording was made for an early Edison phonograph on tin foil which had become too fragile and torn to play back. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory optically scanned the foil and developed a program to replay it digitally. [more inside]
posted by Esteemed Offendi on Oct 25, 2012 - 29 comments

Sound on Sound's "Classic Tracks"

Sound on Sound magazine's "Classic Tracks" series provides technical and personal details behind the recording of, uh, classic tracks. [Not to be confused with Mix magazine's own "Classic Tracks" series, which was featured previously.] [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 29, 2012 - 21 comments

"Etta James Rocks The House"

On September 27, 1963, at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee, Etta James rocked the house. The result was "simply one of the greatest live blues albums ever captured on tape". [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 26, 2012 - 7 comments

Musopen releases high-quality, free classical music.

Musopen, "a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials", have released upwards of 30 professionally performed and recorded classical works into the public domain. The new recordings are on their site listed under Goldberg Variations, Musopen Symphony Orchestra and Musopen String Quartet. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Aug 17, 2012 - 11 comments

Enjoy Nature Electronically

The Psychologically Ultimate Seashore was the first in the Environments series of records, an early entry in the field of white-noise nature sound albums. One interesting aspect of the albums was that most were designed to be played on a loop at any speed; another was that selections were included on the Voyager Golden Record as "Sounds of the Earth". [more inside]
posted by 23 on Aug 7, 2012 - 17 comments

Obscure Records at Ubuweb

Obscure Records was a U.K. record label which existed from 1975 to 1978. It was created and run by Brian Eno, who also produced the albums (credited as executive producer in one instance). Ten albums were issued in the series. All ten are available for your listening pleasure at Ubuweb.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 13, 2012 - 30 comments

Smile, You're On Camera

As police departments around the country are increasingly caught up in tussles with members of the public who record their activities, the U.S. Justice Department has come out with a strong statement supporting the First Amendment right of individuals to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.
In a surprising letter sent on Monday to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department, the Justice Department also strongly asserted that officers who seize and destroy such recordings without a warrant or without due process are in strict violation of the individual’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
posted by veedubya on May 18, 2012 - 100 comments

Aretha Franklin's "Amazing Grace"

On January 13 and 14, 1972, Aretha Franklin sang during services at the Reverend James Cleveland's New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. The audio recordings released as Amazing Grace remain the largest-selling gospel album in history. However, of the 20 hours of 16mm film footage by Sydney Pollack - intended as a concert movie for tandem release - only a few snippets have ever been seen. (previously: 1, 2)
posted by Trurl on Apr 22, 2012 - 8 comments

"Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."

Flannery O'Connor reads A Good Man is Hard to Find aloud at Vanderbilt University in 1959. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Mar 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Dean Benedetti

On Saturday, March 1, 1947, at the Hi-De-Ho nightclub in Los Angeles, in a booth near the bandstand, Dean Benedetti switched on a Wells-Gardner disc cutter - starting what would become the most legendary jazz recordings in history. (400 KB PDF) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 20, 2012 - 16 comments

Listening to the past, recorded on tin foil and glass, for the first time in over a century

Towards the end of the 1800s, there were three primary American groups competing to invent technology to record and play back audio. Alexander Graham Bell worked with with Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell in at their Volta Laboratory in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., while Thomas A. Edison worked from his Menlo Park facilities, and Emile Berliner worked in his independent laboratory in his home. To secure the rights to their inventions, the three groups sent samples of their work to the Smithsonian. These recordings became part of the permanent collections, now consisting of 400 of the earliest audio recordings ever made. But knowledge of their contents was limited to old, short descriptions, as the rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass recording media are fragile, and playback devices might damage the recordings, if such working devices are even available. That is, until a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory came together to make 2D and 3D optical scanners, capable of visually recording the patterns marked on discs and cylinders, respectively. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 10, 2012 - 21 comments

Music, Movies, Microcode, and High-Speed Pizza Delivery

Le Blues De Memphis — behind the scenes at STAX & FAME Recording Studios (1969) and Hollywood Blues, a 1969 Hollywood Recording Session. Just a sample of the vintage 50s, 60s & 70s music, movies, microcode and high-speed pizza delivery at Bedazzled.tv. [sacré bleu]
posted by netbros on Jan 31, 2012 - 7 comments

Alan Lomax's Global Jukebox

A decade after the death of renowned folklorist Alan Lomax, his vision of a "global jukebox" is being realized: his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February. NYT article here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 30, 2012 - 39 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

Don't Spend It, Honey

Toronto Musician Corin Raymond wants to pay for his next recording using Canadian Tire Money.
posted by Fuzzy Monster on Jan 12, 2012 - 36 comments

Doug Wimbish! Doug Wimbish!

Doug Wimbish plays bass.
posted by Trurl on Jan 9, 2012 - 22 comments

Gumm's Last Tape

Even people who would normally never care about something Judy Garland-related marvel at the incredible pathos and dark insanity of these tapes, which come off like Garland performing in a one-woman show written by Samuel Beckett.
posted by Trurl on Dec 28, 2011 - 27 comments

The Kitten Covers

Classic album covers, now with kittens!
posted by reenum on Nov 3, 2011 - 35 comments

Complete recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas

Artur Schnabel was the first pianist to record all of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas. He would not be the last. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 20, 2011 - 22 comments

It's for you!

It's a ring-tone! It's place-based community art! Well, you don't have to choose any more. In Locally Toned, artist T. Foley sources sound in the wild to create hundreds of unique ringtones.
posted by Miko on Oct 6, 2011 - 12 comments

Lost: Wired's Guide to Pop Culture's Buried Treasure

Wired takes a look at some pop culture legends that elude fans and collectors.
posted by reenum on Sep 23, 2011 - 67 comments

Jean-Jacques Beineix's "Diva"

The French romantic thriller “Diva” dashes along with a pellmell gracefulness, and it doesn’t take long to see that the images and visual gags and homages all fit together and reverberate back and forth. It’s a glittering toy of a movie... This one is by a new director, Jean-Jacques Beineix... who understands the pleasures to be had from a picture that doesn’t take itself very seriously. Every shot seems designed to delight the audience. - Pauline Kael, 1982 [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 16, 2011 - 33 comments

"Ooooooooooooooooooooh girrrrrrrrrrrllllllllll. It was at that time that I lost my mind."

What then happens is an unbelievable series of Kafkaesque email threads, out-of-office messages, invented holidays, bizarre threats, secret handshakes. If you’re lucky, and very very persistent, you might end up with a CD of it, along with a note saying that “this never happened” and “don’t tell anybody you have this.” Nico Muhly on the difficulty of listening to one's own work.
posted by villanelles at dawn on Sep 10, 2011 - 11 comments

Snap, Crackle, Rattle and Hum.

40 Noises That Built Pop [parts 234]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 7, 2011 - 79 comments

1st Circuit Upholds Right to Record Police in Public

The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals has held that recording police officers performing their duties in public is a "clearly established first amendment right". [more inside]
posted by epsilon on Aug 31, 2011 - 132 comments

Howard Shore's music for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy

The annotated scores for [*and Filmtracks.com's reviews of] Howard Shore's soundtracks to The Fellowship of the Ring*, The Two Towers*, and The Return of the King*
posted by Trurl on Aug 24, 2011 - 21 comments

123-year-old recording of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, recited it with feeling and expression

The Phonograph Doll was the first attempt at making a talking doll, invented by Thomas Edison. The doll utilized a miniature phonograph to talk, and was possibly the first audio recordings for commercial purposes. An example of the (now 123 year-old) talking doll was found in 1967 in Edison's New Jersey workshop, which is now a National Historic Park and museum. Recently, the warped metal cylinder was optically scanned and re-created, providing a 12-second clip of the oldest known recording of a woman's voice. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 8, 2011 - 22 comments

People used to make records, as in a record of an event — the event of people making music in a room

"The George Sanders Touch: Songs For the Lovely Lady" ...exists. Wow! But Not on CD.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Jul 5, 2011 - 10 comments

ALLLRIIIIGHT! METAFILTER! YOU FEEL GOOD!

People, Let Me Get This Off My Chest is a 65 minute compilation of stage banter by Paul Stanley of KISS. Paul repeatedly reminds the Army that they’re getting their money’s worth... , that the next tune is the first time they’ve played it on tour, that he was talking backstage to someone... about what kind of alcohol that people in the area like to drink, that they’re just getting started, and that he’s got an “uzi of ooze” in his pants.
posted by Trurl on Jun 4, 2011 - 69 comments

The axeman cometh for recording studios

"You want how to make a million in the studio business? Start with two million." Abbey Road is safe, but with Olympic, Townhouse, The Hit Factory and Eden all overtaken in recent years by the developments in digital recording, what's to be done with all that history?"A museum? A doctor's surgery? A Wedding venue? Flats? Or chop them into little pieces and sell them to your fans? (video in Spanish, scroll down for English text)
posted by RegMcF on May 20, 2011 - 46 comments

Recording engineer Roger Nichols has died

The veteran recording engineer and seven-time grammy winner Roger Nichols lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away April 9th at age 66. Though not a household name, you've undoubtedly heard at least one album he did the sound for. Some of the artists he engineered recordings for were Stevie Wonder, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Frank Zappa, Donald Fagen, John Denver, the Beach Boys, Crosby Stills & Nash, Al Di Meola, Roy Orbison, Andy Laverne, Plácido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, Rickie Lee Jones, Kenny Loggins, Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, and Toots Thielemans, among others. He also invented the first functional drum sampling machine WENDL (.pdf file), first used on the 1979 "Gaucho" album. He is likely best known for the amazing pristine sound he achieved for every album done by Mssrs. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, aka Steely Dan. He was a giant in his field, a real innovator, and it is a sad loss for the industry.
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Apr 11, 2011 - 28 comments

Small digital cameras, the web and the crowd.

With video cameras becoming increasing smaller, cheaper and ubiquitous, questions are arising about the use of them on multiple levels, from governments monitoring their citizens, to private citizens keeping an eye on government and each other. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink on Nov 12, 2010 - 83 comments

"Anything is possible at Royal Mail"

Dictaphone Parcel. Lauri Warsta put a tape recorder inside a box, set it recording, sealed up the box, sent it from London to Finland through the post, then animated the captured audio. Previously
posted by sleepcrime on Sep 22, 2010 - 13 comments

"For me, the high point of the lyrics was rhyming ‘attitude’ with ‘I’ve been screwed’."

Carrie: The Musical, is legendary for closing after 5 performances and being perhaps the biggest instant flop in Broadway history. It has also achieved cult status, with fans demanding the performance rights be released (they've been held back since its Broadway closing). [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Sep 14, 2010 - 46 comments

badabadabadacraaassshhh!!

Isolated Keith Moon drum tracks for Won't Get Fooled Again and Who Are You? (via)
posted by Crane Shot on Jul 19, 2010 - 85 comments

The first ever field recording.

Nearly 122 years ago, The first field recording was made. In the Crystal Palace, London, 4000 voices were recorded singing Handel's Israel In Egypt. [more inside]
posted by idiopath on Jun 26, 2010 - 44 comments

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